State Wants More Time to Analyze Proposed Copper Mine

Department of Environmental Quality is studying impact of proposed mine near White Sulphur Springs

By Associated Press

HELENA — The Montana Department of Environmental Quality says it needs more time to study a proposed copper mine near White Sulphur Springs.

The Independent Record reports the department sent a letter Tuesday to Sandfire Resources America requesting a consultation about the legally mandated one-year timeframe for completion of an environmental impact statement.

The department last year accepted Sandfire’s mining application for the Black Butte Copper Project as complete, triggering the legally required 12-month period for environmental analysis.

Department of Environment Quality Director Tom Livers says the only way the department will meet the 12-month timeframe is if it “compromises the integrity of the analysis or public involvement.”

An environmental impact statement is required to consider potential environmental effects and alternatives of the proposed project.

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